I went a very long time without a real personal computer. Time Cost Efficiency has always played a part in my decision making, but recently it prompted me to go without a computer for a while. I did without one before.
I had one for school when I was 12 and incompetent teachers insisted on typing things at home I could’ve written in five minutes at school. My dad and I put it together. I didn’t use it for much, and didn’t miss it when it was gone.
I had another computer in my brief stint in college. It was a good laptop and after I quit wasting my time in school it became my first real “personal” computer. That was maybe 2009. I was 19.
Neither of these computers actually went on the internet. I wouldn’t have internet access until 2013 because I didn’t see a need for it. Hell, I didn’t have time to play around on the internet then.
I didn’t use them for social media or blogging like I do today, though. And since my last post, I haven’t used a computer for social media or blogging. Because I didn’t have one.
I broke my laptop during a particularly stimulating Skype call. I discovered Skype after doing my first podcast appearance. The long story short is that I dropped my laptop on its corner and damaged the screen.
The Importance of Self Sufficiency
In the past when I broke something I would just buy a new one. This is one of the many advantages of not spending a lot of money. That was then, and this is now.
My current situation is an expensive one. I am actively minimizing my every expense, because there are some things you can’t minimize. It just makes good sense to make breathing room where possible.
You tell me what makes more sense: spending a couple hundred dollars on a new laptop, or buying a $40 LCD screen and fixing it?
Why wouldn’t you repair it? It takes 10 minutes to change out the screens, and if you don’t know how to do it you can get YouTube to show you. You save a lot of money, and more importantly, you save a lot of time.
How do you save time? Simple, friend. Money is time.
Money is Time?
You’ve heard all your life that Time is Money.
That’s backwards. Money is Time. They’re two different forms of the same thing, like Ice and Water. Money is solid Time just like Ice is solid Water.
The similarities don’t stop there.
You can always make more Ice if you have Water. You can always make more Money if you have Time.
Unlike Ice and Water, you can’t revert Money into Time. You can buy Freedom with Money, but you can’t buy Time with Money.
What does this mean for you?
It means you need to think LONG and HARD about what you do when converting Time into Money. You need to seek out the highest rate of return possible.
In the case of a laptop screen, how much total time investment are you really looking at? People are quick to rattle off financial expenses, but neglect to look at time.
Replacing Laptop Screen:
- $40 worth of your time, however long that may take to earn.
- ~10 minutes of your time to install it.
Purchasing New Laptop:
- $200 and up, however long that may take to earn.
That means that unless you make $160 in 10 minutes ($960 per hour) then even the most inexpensive laptops out there are outside your price range. At least, they’re not Time Cost Efficient.
Time Cost Efficiency
This is not a revolutionary idea, and it should be common sense, but everywhere I look I see people ignoring it.
Time Cost Efficiency starts with the idea that Money is Time you’ve sacrificed to the pursuit of making money.
Things don’t cost you money, they cost you time.
Time out of your life. Time you can never get back.
In case you’ve forgotten, you are a living creature. All living creatures die.
“Memento Mori – Remember, you are human. Remember, you will die.”
The next idea in Time Cost Efficiency is then maximizing your return on each and every time investment. You only get so much time to invest, so why aren’t you trying to get the absolute most out of each and every time investment you make?
All of this is just plain common sense, right? Right.
But NO ONE acts on it.
The third idea involved in Time Cost Efficiency is in how you use money.
As we’ve already discussed, the primary purpose of money is in living free. Buying Freedom with Money. You never want to buy Money with Freedom, you always want to buy Freedom with Money. How does this relate to time?
Time Cost Efficiency Spending Strategy
The Time Cost Efficiency Spending Strategy is stupid simple.
- If it would cost more Time to pay for something with Money, you either pay for it with Time or you do without.
- If it would cost more Time to pay for something with Time, you either pay for it with Money or you do without.
Doing without it is always going to be your best option.
Remember: Live Free, Make Money, Pack Iron. The more crap you own, the less free you are. The best option will always be to do without unnecessary things.
If you DO have to have whatever you’re buying, will it cost more time to pay for it with time or money? Notice I didn’t say “Will it cost more money, or more time?”
I say it this way because both cost time.
Your goal is to prevent as much time loss as possible in the transaction. That is the big goal in Time Cost Efficiency.
It’s for this reason that I didn’t immediately fix or replace my laptop. Instead, I tried to do without. I attempted to do everything I used my laptop for on my smartphone. When combined with my current smartphone use, this just plain didn’t work.
Next I had to run the numbers I ran above to determine whether I would lose more Time by spending Time or Money to get a working laptop. Since I don’t make $960 per hour, I chose the biggest Time saving choice and replace my LCD screen.
You should seek to get the greatest return on your Time investment, but you should also seek to spend as little time as possible.
You should spend your time on experiences, not on things.
Live Free, Make Money, Pack Iron